Simon Williams was the son of an industrialist who founded Williams Innovations, a highly successful munitions factory. While his brother Eric refused to go into the family business, Simon on the other hand inherited the firm following his father's death. Under Simon's control, Williams Innovations was unable to compete with rival firms such as Stark Industries and in desperation Simon turned to his brother who helped him embezzle the company's money and invest in the Maggia. When Simon's actions were discovered he was looking at a prison sentence but was approached by Amora the Enchantress who freed him and brought him before the Masters of Evil.
Turning the blame for Simon's business failure to Tony Stark, the Masters of Evil convinced him to undergo Baron Zemo's ionic ray treatment to receive superhuman strength to destroy the Stark-funded Avengers. Becoming Wonder Man, Simon agreed to help the Masters of Evil defeat the Avengers, especially after Zemo revealed that unless he was given regular treatments that only he could provide then Simon would die.
Wonder Man was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in The Avengers #9 in 1964.
In the Silver Age, Wonder Man made his first and only major appearance of the time in one of the earliest issues of The Avengers. He was largely portrayed as a villain up until the issue's end when he instead aided the Avengers which led to his death. Joining the Avengers as an infiltrator, Wonder Man is notable as the second new recruit to the Avengers (following Captain America) and is also technically the first Avenger to die - although his death was later retconned.
In the Bronze Age, Wonder Man was brought back from the dead, first briefly as a pawn of Kang the Conqueror, and secondly permanently by the machinations of his brother and Black Talon. Following his revival, his membership with the Avengers became more legitimate as he served with them for an extended period of time and later became a founding member of their West Coast division.
Wonder Man starred in the graphic novels Wonder Man and Emperor Doom as the central hero and starred in several solo stories in Marvel Comics Presents. Soon he headlined his own ongoing series which lasted 29 issues until it was forced to end when the character was killed (again) in the 1990s as an admitted "shock tactic" to kick start the Force Works series. Eventually Wonder Man was once more revived a few years later by the Scarlet Witch's magic. Since then he was been an infrequent but occasional member and ally to the Avengers and again starred in another solo series as well as co-starring in another.
More recently however, Wonder Man fell into disuse due to Avengers' writer Brian Michael Bendis' dislike for the character. He was initially planned to be revealed as having being a Skrull imposter since his very first revival, during Secret Invasion, but Bendis admits he forgot to reveal this. Instead, Bendis settled to start depicting Wonder Man as a villain who opposed the Avengers' attempts to police the world. This new direction saw him joining teams such as the Lethal Legion and leading the Revengers in an attack on Avengers Mansion. Despite the shaky characterization, he has since returned to heroic pursuits and is a current member of the Avengers Unity Squad with little attention paid to his brief time as an antagonist.
Over the years, Wonder Man has been involved with many of the Avengers most remembered story arcs and has had a few notable characters arcs of his own told across several years. Beginning with his redemption and resurrection, Wonder Man spent a lot of his time battling his own fear of dying again and his relationship with his brother Eric Williams and his "brother" the Vision. Later, Wonder Man pursued an on-again-off-again career as an actor to varying degrees of success which he still is seen occasionally pursuing to this day. Perhaps the most notable ongoing character story for Wonder Man was the character's unrequited love for the Scarlet Witch and the "love triangle" which formed between him, Vision and the Scarlet Witch. While his feelings for the Scarlet Witch still tend to factor in his current stories, Wonder Man has also had serious relationships with Amora the Enchantress and Alex Flores. More recently a relationship between Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel was toyed with but ultimately went abandoned.
Major Story Arcs
The Coming of Wonder Man
Training alongside Zemo, the Enchantress and the Executioner, Wonder Man honed his powers and strength and in the process found himself the object of the Enchantress' affections which made the Executioner jealous and resentful of Wonder Man.
The Masters of Evil then lured the Avengers into a battle in New York where Wonder Man arrived and appeared to help the team battle the villains. Claiming a desire to join the Avengers, Wonder Man was welcomed onto the team but Captain America remained suspicious leading Wonder Man to have to confide in them about aspects of his origin. Telling the team of how Baron Zemo performed experiments on him that will kill him within a week, the Avengers began looking for a cure to help their new member.
Seeing the Avengers willing to offer him help out of the kindest of their hearts, Wonder Man began to regret having to ultimately betray them so that he could continue to live. Receiving a signal from Zemo, Wonder Man kidnapped the Wasp and delivered her to the Masters of Evil to use as bait to draw the rest of the team to them. When the Avengers arrived to save Wasp, they discovered Wonder Man's true allegiance when he quickly subdued Thor. With Wonder Man on their side, the Masters of Evil overpowered the rest of the Avengers as Wonder Man realized Zemo intended to murder the Avengers rather than simply serving them a humiliating defeat. Realizing his mistake, Wonder Man turned on the Masters of Evil, freed the captive Avengers and sided with them in a battle against the villains. As the Masters of Evil fled, Wonder Man collapsed to the floor apparently dying from his terminal condition. The Avengers gathered around as Wonder Man died shortly afterwards having made a noble sacrifice for the team.
The Mind War
While running tests on Wonder Man's body, Hank Pym opted to record Wonder Man's brain patterns in the hope that they could potentially restore him one day. Meanwhile, Eric Williams blamed the Avengers for the death of his brother and became the costumed villain the Grim Reaper seeking revenge on the heroes. Allying with the Avengers' nemesis Ultron, the Grim Reaper and Ultron attacked the Avengers and in the process stole the recordings of Wonder Man's brain patterns.
Using it to form the artificial mind of the Vision, Ultron had hoped his robotic son would follow in his father's footsteps and help him destroy both the Avengers and mankind. However, Wonder Man's brain patterns appeared too dominant and Vision instead rebelled against his father and joined the Avengers. Grim Reaper continued his vendetta against the Avengers, however, found himself unable to face the Vision whom he believed was his brother.
Stealing the corpse of Wonder Man, the Grim Reaper offered Vision the chance to transfer his mind into his "true body" on the condition that together they destroy the Avengers. The Vision refused, having become his own man, and not wishing to betray his friends and team-mates. Grim Reaper's frustration in his "brother" led to him allying with HYDRA and the Space Phantom to capture Captain America,. Grim Reaper again offered Vision the chance to transfer his mind into a human body, this time even offering the body of Captain America, but Vision again refused and helped the Avengers defeat Grim Reaper and the villains. Despite the two saving each others lives, Grim Reaper began to resent Vision and no longer saw him as his resurrected brother.
Celestial Madonna Saga
The real Wonder Man was briefly revived in order to serve Kang and Immortus in the Legion of the Unliving. Sent alongside the Legion to destroy the Avengers, Wonder Man was initially willing to battle the team - believing that he would be allowed to remain alive if he succeeded - but ultimately switched sides and allied with the team. Wonder Man was soon returned to the afterlife by Immortus.
Nightmare in New Orleans
Grim Reaper still wishing to destroy the Avengers took his brother's body to Black Talon and paid him to use his voodoo magic to revive Wonder Man. With Wonder Man brought back to life, the Grim Reaper was hoping his resurrected brother would follow his orders and slay the Avengers for him. Instead, a delirious Wonder Man approached the Avengers as they announced a new line-up to the public. The team were confronted by the incoherent and almost mindless Wonder Man who accused the Vision of having stole his mind, before ultimately collapsing in front of the team.
The Avengers eventually tracked Black Talon down to New Orleans from Wonder Man's mumblings and defeated him and his cult. With the voodoo practitioner and his cult no longer a threat, The Avengers were left with one of the earliest members returned to life and barely able to understand being alive again.
No Final Victory
Amidst a barrage of tests to uncover the nature of his return, the newly resurrected Wonder Man managed to slip away from Avengers Mansion and began wandering the streets of New York. Confused and uneasy with his resurrection, Wonder Man fell under the thrall of the Living Laser who at the time was wearing the Serpent Crown.
Using the crown to try and conquer the USA, the Living Laser didn’t realize that in taking over Wonder Man’s mind he had inadvertently fully awoke his consciousness. Commanding him to destroy the Avengers, Wonder Man battled against Beast who knocked him out and upon reawakening, Wonder Man was in control of himself again and no longer confused. Wonder Man joined forces with the Avengers in helping them defeat the Living Laser and reclaim the Serpent Crown from the villain.
Private War of Doctor Doom
The Avengers remained concerned about Wonder Man's mental health and reliability and pondered the nature of his return to life. Feeling unwelcome at Avengers Mansion, Wonder Man leaves to accompany the injured Avenger Whizzer to hospital instead. The rest of the Avengers are attacked at their mansion by Attuma who captures all of them except for Beast who manages to escape.
While the captive Avengers are forced to fight Doctor Doom on behalf of Attuma, Beast arrives at the hospital and tells Whizzer and Wonder Man that they are the only Avengers left. With the task of saving the day falling to them, Wonder Man cements his standing with the Avengers by going into action to save the captives from Attuma even though they had spurned him as a friend and team-mate earlier.
Tracking down Attuma's base, the three Avengers are attacked by the Sub-Mariner who Attuma has tricked into believing are his enemies. After Sub-Mariner recognizes Whizzer as his friend from World War II, he allies with the Avengers to locate Attuma's base. Together they defeat Attuma and Doctor Doom and free the other Avengers.
Bride of Ultron
When Ultron sought to kidnap Hank Pym to force him to make himself a wife, he needed to distract the other Avengers and to this end he saw fit to help Grim Reaper infiltrate Avengers Mansion. The Grim Reaper then overpowered and captured most of the Avengers present in their mansion. With the Avengers captive, Grim Reaper then staged a "mock trial" to determine whether or not Vision or Wonder Man was his true brother. After both the Vision and Wonder Man recount their origins, Grim Reaper decides that Wonder Man is his true brother and the Vision is a mockery of his brother.
Grim Reaper plans to kill Vision until Wonder Man intercepts and saves the Vision. Discovering that Wonder Man is no longer "human", the Grim Reaper resigns to the fact that his brother is gone. Grim Reaper is defeated with relative ease, but in the process Ultron had commenced his plan to make himself a Bride.
The Avengers fly into battle to stop Ultron and free both Hank Pym and Wasp from his clutches when Wonder Man suddenly realizes that he could potentially die in the fight. Discovering the limits of his invulnerability when Ultron's attacks hurt him, Wonder Man develops a crippling fear of death. Despite Wonder Man freezing up in combat, the Avengers managed to defeat Ultron but Wonder Man remained afraid of dying again.
Wonder Man and the Avengers faced one of their most powerful foes yet when the nigh-omnipotent Michael Korvac set out to make the Universe a utopia with no conflict. When all other attempts to stymie the threat Korvac presents to the world failed, the Avengers found themselves hopelessly battling him in combat. As his team-mates all fell in battle before him, Wonder Man finally faced his own mortality and overcame his fear of dying when he threw himself into the fray. Though his attempts to battle the cosmically powered Korvac proved futile when he too was killed, he and his fellow Avengers were restored to life shortly afterwards. Having faced his fear, Wonder Man was no longer frightened by the prospect of dying.
West Coast Avengers Assemble
Taking a break from the Avengers to instead focus on an acting career with varying success, Wonder Man was brought back into the fold when he was recruited for Hawkeye's team based on the West Coast. Wonder Man instantly tried to prove his worth to the team by taking on a small-time crook called The Blank all by himself. Wonder Man's arrogance instead cost him a very humbling defeat which was widely reported in the media.
Embarrassed and having lost a lot of confidence, Wonder Man began considering leaving the team and continuing to pursue his career as an actor and stunt man instead. Convinced by his fellow team-mate Tigra to wait it out, Wonder Man went into action alongside The Shroud and Tigra in an ill-fated confrontation with the super-villain Graviton. The three of them were defeated and Graviton took an unconscious Wonder Man as a prize to impress potential partners in his quest to become the kingpin of crime in Los Angeles. Using his gravity powers to drown the Avenger in a penthouse pool in front of several notorious crime bosses and gangsters, Wonder Man appeared dead by Graviton's hand.
The rest of the Avengers arrived to battle the villain and avenge their fallen comrade. With Graviton's concerntration on them, he no longer adamantly held Wonder Man submerged in the pool, leading to the apparently still alive Wonder Man freeing himself and helping to defeat Graviton. Wonder Man resolved to stay with the Avengers, his faith in himself restored.
When the governments of the world decided that the Vision was too great a threat to their national security, they banded together to abduct and erase the Vision's programming. Although Henry Pym was able to restore the Vision's body back to working order, he could not restore his personality without Simon's brain patterns. Simon refused; he had never given his permission before and couldn't be violated like that again. He revealed that he had secretly been in love with the Vision's wife, the Scarlet Witch, and it killed him that she had fallen in love with "his" personality programmed in the body of another man. The Witch was furious with Simon and dropped a cliff-side on him, screaming that she hated him for his selfishness. The Visionquest would ultimately contribute to Wanda's mental breakdown.
Dark Scarlet Witch Saga
When the Scarlet Witch was manipulated by Immortus and her father Magneto to embrace her darker side, the Witch began tormenting her old team-mates but above all else Wonder Man whom she repeatedly killed over and over again and used her hex power to bring him back from the dead. While held hostage by the sexy evil Witch, Wonder Man was also sexually tormented by her in an infamous scene where she dug her nails deep into his skin and progressively clawed her way down his body and eventually his crotch as SImon bellowed out in agony at the pain.
Operation Galactic Storm
During the Shi'ar/Kree War, Wonder Man engaged and was soundly defeated by the Praetor of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Gladiator, before he was seemingly killed when his physical body was destroyed in a massive Nega-Bomb explosion. The blast caused his body to undergo a further metamorphosis into a more ionic being. In addition to his enhanced strength and durability, Simon could now fly on his own power and shoot blasts of ionic energy. He later learned that he was now immortal, causing Simon to struggle greatly with this further loss of his humanity.
When the West Coast Avengers were disbanded, Simon joined his fellow West Coast Avengers in Ttheir new group, Force Works. In their first mission, they battled against vengeful members of the Kree and Simon perished when he was blasted by an ionic cannon.
After the Avengers reformed following their return from Franklin Richards' Counter-Earth, the Scarlet Witch was kidnapped by Morgan le Fay and Mordred the Evil. Harnessing her hex powers to alter reality and the Twilight Sword, Morgan restructured reality to her whim and kept Wanda captive underneath her castle. As Wanda cried for help, her desperation and probability altering powers seemingly brought Wonder Man back to live, albeit in a purely ionic form. Simon freed Wanda from captivity and, with Wanda redirecting the energies of all the Avengers to him, he then was able to defeat the Twilight Sword-wielding Morgan le Fay and reality returned to how it should be.
Despite assuming Wonder Man was lost to them again, the Avengers were witness to Simon's ionic form being summoned whenever Wanda was in times of stress such as in a battle with the Squadron Supreme. Seeking out help from Agatha Harkness, Wanda learnt that upon his apparent demise battling the Kree, Simon's love for Wanda kept his ionic form alive after his physical form had perished. With the aid of Harkness and the Grim Reaper, Wonder Man was returned to his physical form and the two embarked on a relationship.
Simon was one of the first to register after the announcement of the Super Human Registration Act. Not only did he help capture renegade vigilantes and criminals, he was also instrumental as the public face for the SHRA, helping to create televised messages to educate the public and yet-unregistered super humans about the specifics of the Registration Act. After embezzling money from his own charity he was coerced to do even more work for S.H.I.E.L.D., possibly as a way to seek pardon. He is one of the first established heroes assigned to lead the Fifty State Initiative training program for inexperienced hero recruits along with Ms. Marvel, with whom he is rumored to be having an intimate relationship. He was also pronounced a member of the reformed Mighty Avengers.
After the Secret Invasion, Simon was retired from being a hero by Norman Osborn. Using his celebrity status, Simon went on talkshows condemning both Osborn's adminstration as well as the Avengers failings to prevent someone like Osborn from seizing control of the country. Simon joined his brother in a new Lethal Legion to undermine Osborn's hierarchy.
Upon being released from prison when Osborn was removed from power, Simon was invited to join the Avengers again. Simon refused, feeling bitter towards the Avengers and blaming them for causing events like Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Siege. Simon told Steve that he should reconsider the idea of continuing the Avengers and change his mind or he would change it for him.
After Iron Man and Thor confronted Simon over his attitude towards the Avengers, Iron Man remarked that Simon was "leaking" ionic energy. Simon appeared to be dematerializing. He looked sickly, lost hair, and acted and spoke irrationally, suggesting that something was seriously wrong with Wonder Man. Recently, Simon came to the conclusion that the Avengers simply cause more harm than good, stating that the endangerment of countless innocent bystanders over the years as result of battles with enemies and the lure and even creation of villains from the Avengers being a famous superhero team outweigh all the good the team accomplishes. He gathered allies like Black Goliath and Virtue and formed his own team, the Revengers. They successfully assaulted Avengers Mansion and defeated the Avengers. Later, the Avengers took revenge on Wonder Man and his team and defeated them, but not before he is able to instill a degree of doubt in the general population as to the validity and consequences of the Avengers' actions. He is held in a cell, designed specifically, by Tony Stark, to contain his ionic form, and makes the claim that he has not been 'real' since his resurrection. While making this statement his energy based body seems to dissipate and, eventually, completely disappear.
He has of late joined the ranks of the Avengers Unity Squad. But he states he joined due to his publicity and media control, he won't fight.
Powers and Abilities
Through Baron Zemo's treatments, Simon became a being composed of pure, solid ionic energy and in turn gained super-human powers. Wonder Man's strength level is in excess of the 100 ton range, meaning he can lift (press) over 100 tons above his head, and has been compared to that of Thor. Wonder Man's skin and tissue has been rated a 9 on the Mohs scale of Hardness (normal human tissue equals a 1 and diamond equals 10). Since Simon gained his ionic form he has almost unlimited amounts of stamina and no longer needs food, water, or air to survive. Wonder Man also doesn't age. Though at first using a rocket propulsion belt to fly, he later learned to fly at high speeds using his own ionic propulsion. He also has enhanced agility as well almost instantaneous reflexes Wonder Man uses his Ionic Energy in a number of ways, he can fire energy blasts change his shape and as mentioned above it helps him to fly.
In the 21st Century, Wonder Man was one of the few heroes to survive the Martian Invasion of Earth known as the War of the Worlds. During a pivotal point of the war, Wonder Man was teleported from Earth by the Vision who concluded that the war had an inevitable outcome. Wonder Man demanded that the Vision send him back but upon his return the heroes lost the war. The Martians had successfully occupied Earth but a resistance movement was formed on Earth by Killraven and his Freemen.
At some point after the end of the war, Wonder Man changed his name to Hollywood. After the Martians succumbed to a mysterious illness, they retreated from Earth but centuries later in the 30th Century the Badoon conquered Earth's solar system as well as Earth's surrounding colonies. Earth was eventually freed from Badoon occupation due to the efforts of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Defenders. At some point, Hollywood joined a resistance group known as the Commandeers.
Years later, a small group of Badoon who remained on Earth and a militant group called the Punishers had enslaved the human population with a narcotic VR program known as Realitee-Vee. The Commandeers and the Guardians defeated the Badoon soldiers and the Punishers and destroyed the refinery that produced Realitee-Vee. Hollywood continued as a Commandeer on Earth until he was recruited by Martinex into the Galactic Guardians.
Martinex called on Hollywood, Spirit of Vengeance, Firelord, Phoenix IX and Replica to battle Korvac who had infiltrated Mainframe. After defeating Korvac and his Intimidators, Hollywood and the others decided to stay together as the Galactic Guardians. While responding to a threat from Dormammu, the Galactic Guardians defeated Bubonicus. The Galactic Guardians, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Krugarr and the Ancient One (formerly Dr. Strange) all joined together to battle Dormammu.
After defeating Dormammu, Hollywood asked the Guardians of the Galaxy to check on the Commandeers on Earth. Hollywood and the Galactic Guardians returned to Mainframe's Homeworld, Klaatu. After the Guardians of the Galaxy returned to Earth, it was revealed that Doctor Doom created the addictive VR program, Realitee-Vee, which he called the Karoshi Program. Doom had Rancor and her lieutenants rebuild the refinery to enslave Earth's population once again.
Doom had survived into the 30th Century by placing his brain in Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton. While the Guardians defeated Rancor's lieutenants, Doom defeated Rancor in battle and he escaped to repair the exposed area of his brain. The Guardians destroyed the refinery again but Rancor and her lieutenants escaped as well. After discovering that Doom had escaped, Hollywood went on a quest to hunt for Doom.
Hollywood's quest was interrupted when he and the Galactic Guardians fought Ubiquitor and her Emissaries. Hollywood resumed his quest for Doom after his opponent, Silverback, was sucked into a black hole. Hollywood eventually rejoined with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
In this reality the Avengers went on a mission against Ultron. In the last minute Hulk betrayed them and Tigra tried attacking him only for him to rip her apart. Seeing this Wonder Man jumped and battled the Hulk, when Hulk managed to crack his skin. Wonder Man knew he had minutes to live and took the Hulk to the air and blew in a massive mushroom cloud explosion that killed them both.
Wonder Man had being turned into a Cyborg still possessing all his previous powers and a metallic body with virtual skin to appear more human. Do to his new body he could control his powers in new forms. When his world nexus being was killed, his world collapse and all the inhabits who tried to run to the 616 realities were erase as well; Ultron, Cybermancer and himself.
Wonder Man was one the many heroes that was killed when Magneto took over the White House and tried to manipulate one the Sentinels however it had a nuclear bomb killing most the Avengers, X-Men, Human Liberation Front and the Savage Land Mutates.
Wonder Man is a famous actor who the tabloid report is romantically involved with the human super hero Carol Danvers.
In Other Media
Avengers: United They Stand
Wonder Man appeared briefly during the first season of the animated series The Avengers: United They Stand. He is put into a coma after an attack by the Vision and remains in the hospital for most of the series, only seen occasionally during visits by the Scarlet Witch.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Wonder Man has appeared in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The episode is called 'Everything Is Wonderful'. It's his origin tale and he plays a villain who teams up with the Masters of Evil. He later appears in the episode "Gamma World Part 2" alongside the Masters of Evil. In the Episode "Masters of Evil" Wonder Man and the other "Masters" attack Avengers Mansion. During his battle with Ant Man, Simon shows some regret for his actions but insists that Baron Zemo is the only one who can restore his humanity. Wonder Man is voiced by Phil Lamarr.
- Wonder Man makes a cameo appearance as a non-playable character in the 1991 arcade game Captain America and the Avengers.
- Wonder Man appears in the game Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Dave B. Mitchell. He appears as a boss fight for gamers playing on Captain America's Anti-Registration side.
- Wonder Man appears in the online game Marvel Super Hero Squad Online as a playable character.
- Wonder Man can be unlocked in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Wonder Man is situated in Avengers Tower, in the online game Marvel Heroes, providing the player with quests.